please help yourself

My Story And A 'Self Help' Book

Carol Owens

Renowned author and songwriter of many musicals, acclaimed books and novels.

Here she is, Dale Mary Garratt, open wide , vulnerable, honest, funny, incredibly talented and incomparably generous as she shares her life of ‘Becoming’, becoming an extraordinary song writer, author, worship leader and giver of hospitality ‘deluxe’ From an insecure little girl, she ‘became’ these things out of necessity and God shaped her then he caught her and her husband David in an unexpected vortex of on-going world wide success. book is a treasure trove of experience from a woman who learned by tooth-gritting determination  how to become a home maker, wife, mother and host to a world in need of love and care. She shares it all in ‘Please help yourself’, a life of both triumph and tragedy. A life from which the rest of us have been blessed so that we too can learn to ‘become’. The book is great and a real joy to read.


Kate Hawkesby

Journalist, TV presenter, radio host



 I have just read ‘Please help yourself’ in one sitting I only picked it up yesterday and I found a quiet spot today to start it and found myself unable to put it down. I read the whole thing in one go I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I learnt so much. About not just Dale & David but actually about LIFE. I photographed some pages (on parenting tips which I adored) I just absolutely devoured it. It’s a triumph.  I adored the depth of history and the candour and vulnerability of it. - I didn’t know it was possible for Dale to have an even deeper dimension but it turns out she does!!! I’m really blown away. What a work of art.

 The book is full of so much integrity and insight and she really does speak the truth. But also she is just such a great storyteller. It’s not just writing a book It’s telling a story and so beautifully told I felt like she was just talking to me (which is the art of a great writer). Every word leapt at me as tho from her own mouth. I could hear her laughter her cheekiness her pain and suffering, her joy - the whole rollercoaster of emotions that went into that book. Dale and David were SO ahead of their time!! The herbs, the manners, the indigenous people, the music, culture, service to others ..... I feel like the world is only just catching up with all these crucial things now and yet they were doing them forever ago. I saw the book very much as Dale generously and graciously reaping and redistributing selflessly, for others gain.


 And I ADORED all the tips for reading I was so obsessed with taking notes on all the books suggested and authors named and then I saw at the end she had even outsmarted us on that and had the kindness to provide a reading list!! Icing on the cake!


Cindy Ruakere

Song writer, recording artist, and Life Coach


When you read ‘Please help yourself’ you enter into another world, ‘Dale’s world. It’s a world rich with story, with history, with help and with hope. It’s an intimate story, and one recognises the privilege almost from the first page.

This is a legacy filled with much wisdom now generously handled to us.

It’s instructive and inclusive and will be a lifeline to so many.


Kit Hackett

University teacher



As I  journeyed through this amazing story, one of my first thoughts was that this should be a mandatory handbook for young brides to be and young men as well because of the wealth of information from her genuine heart Dale so beautifully points out the thoughts, feelings and inadequacies that all homemakers face, but she doesn’t leave you there. She delivers practical steps that take you from humiliation to becoming truely confident. So many worthy quotables are in this story but one of my favourites was how in utter disorganisation  someone gave her some profound advice ‘my dear I live by the saying “don’t put it down, put it away.” This one principle could change anyone’s life.

This delightful true story will capture your heart and your mind and you will come back and read it again and again. Enjoy, you will!


Shirley Powell.

Pastor, songwriter.


I have so benefitted from your suggestions on the way to clear up the kitchen and many other things as I’ve read your book.


The other thing that has been so helpful is how you give food away to your guests. I have found that difficult as being one of eleven children, I remember a lady coming to our home just as the family were seated with our plates in front of us, our very loving mother wanted the lady to eat with us so she went around the table and took food from us all to make a plate  for our visitor, I had a negative response and feel it has hindered my generosity in giving away food I’ve cooked for us. So to break free from that I have started doing it and it’s been amazing. It’s so great to see the delight on people’s faces when they leave with something unexpected. I want to thank you for sharing yourself with us.



Suzy Marshall



Dale Mary Garratt  has an openness I have rarely experienced ….  her book  is telling her own story, weaving in and out  of her life and she walked me with her, through struggles, pain and her joys and deepest passions.


She  tells of the many people along her  journey who have influenced and impacted her.  The one who touched me most, maybe because I grew up without grandparents,  was her beloved grandmother Adeline to whom she dedicates a whole chapter.  Dale's description of her was rich and detailed enabling me to picture her and hear the pearls of wisdom and unfailing love that she passed onto Dale in day to day life.


At almost eighty years of age Dale  tells her story with vulnerability yet great strength and determination. It is absorbing and encouraging and real.  Her book is filled with practical tips for life and  one of her many passions is hospitality, at which she excels.  I am about to read it again with pen and paper beside me.


On almost the last page I love that she says that she, (along with her husband of more than fifty years David,) didn’t get the retirement memo and are looking to the future with great expectation, indeed they have just recorded yet another album. I think their 37th over 50 years.

Yes it is very much worth reading and with a pen and paper beside you, or with whatever your own particular way of note taking is.


Fred Muys



Your book is such a testimonial of the richness there is in hospitality, full of so many insights and reflections from your life. Your book has just reinforced my desire to open our home to more travellers and give them a place to rest and refresh. Thanks to “Please help Yourself”




Please help Yourself is available on Amazon both paperback and kindle and…


A mother’s day special for New Zealand delivery only is as follows:

A single book for half price, $15 per book plus postage

Three books to a single address for $40 plus postage.

Please help yourself is both my story and a ‘self help’ book…hence the title.


Here are some commendations from people who have read the book and they will give you the best insight into its content. I know they are long but as you read them all your questions will be answered about why I wrote it and how I wrote it. Enjoy.



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